In 1956, two Marin County bridges were completed almost simultaneously.
On Aug. 31, 1956, Mill Valley’s city fathers attended the celebration of the opening of the $68 million Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The 5.5-mile long, double-deck bridge had three lanes on the upper westbound deck and three lanes on the lower eastbound deck.
On Sept. 20, 1956, the $3.2 million Richardson Bay Bridge was completed. The 2,800-foot long bridge had six concrete lanes resting on steel piles sunk through 110 feet of mud to rock bottom. It replaced an all-redwood bridge that opened on Nov. 22, 1931. Two million feet of redwood lumber went into the structure.
It was the longest redwood bridge ever built. It had a drawbridge to provide for the passage of small craft. It wasn’t until June 1933 that the drawbridge was put to practical use. Prior to the construction of the redwood bridge, traffic traveling south on 101 turned right onto East Blithedale, then left on Camino Alto, through the Tam High campus and past Almonte, Tam Valley and Manzanita.
The Redwood Bridge allowed traffic on 101 to go from the Alto Wye directly to Manzanita.
(This vignette of Marin history is compiled by the Mill Valley Historical Society. To get the Mill Valley Herald delivered to your doorstep, call 415-898-0784. Still only $110 per year.)